As you age, grow in your career and make more money, your need for higher limits of liability on your car insurance also increases. If you are middle aged with all the responsibilities that go with a career, family, and home, you don’t want to be stuck paying for a substantial lawsuit because of a car accident.
The best way to determine how much car insurance you need is to discuss with your independent agent your income, assets and the amount of driving you and your family do each year. Car insurance covers your liability if you or any family member is sued as the result of a car accident. In many states, it also covers you and passengers in your car for medical bills and loss of income.
The thing is, car accidents can cause substantial bodily injury and property damage. Say you are in an accident and you total another person’s expensive car, such as a new Mercedes Benz. The cost of a new Mercedes starts at $50,000, so if you only carry $25,000 of Property Damage Liability on your car insurance policy, you would be responsible for the additional $25,000 in damage to the Mercedes.
Or, if someone in the other car is hurt badly and the accident is determined to be your fault, you can be sued for his/her unpaid medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. All of that can amount to a substantial amount of money.
So, there’s really no reason for a working parent or successful single man or woman not to ask their independent agent about purchasing the most car insurance coverage they can afford. Not only will they be covering their income and assets if they’re sued and found responsible for hurting others in a car accident, but they can also cover themselves, family members, and guests in their car for their own medical bills and loss of income.
How Age Affects Your Car Insurance Rates
Another thing about car insurance is that the rates you pay will decrease as you reach a certain age. That’s because insurance companies have determined that inexperienced younger drivers have more accidents than older drivers. As a person’s responsibilities increase with work and family, they tend to drive more safely.
The rates vary by insurance company, but in general, drivers age 16-25 pay more for their car insurance than do drivers older than 25. According to a report to Congress by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “…major factors to the high teen crash rate are immaturity, inexperience, faulty judgment, and a higher propensity for risk-taking, [which] all contribute to the teen driver crash problem.”
There are ways to save money if you are a young driver, such as taking driver training in school, gaining safe driving experience with no violations on your record, and getting good grades in school. Young drivers should check with their independent agent to find out what they can do to lower their car insurance premium. Also, if you are under 25 and married, your rates may be less than a 25-year-old who is single.
So does age affect your car insurance if you are older? Drivers age 65 and above are generally capable, conscientious, and safe but changes associated with normal aging present some safety problems. Medical conditions, medications used to address those medical conditions, and slower reaction time may undermine their ability to drive safely.
According to a study by the University of North Carolina, a substantial upturn in crash experience occurs for drivers age 70-79 and accelerates sharply for drivers age 80 and older. So as drivers approach these older ages, it’s a good idea that they stay as healthy as they can and install self-imposed restrictions on themselves to stay as safe on the roads as possible.
When it comes to age and car insurance, it’s best to consult with your local independent insurance agent for recommendations as to how much insurance you should purchase depending on where you are in your career. And, find out about saving money if you’re a young driver and how to driving more safely if you’re enjoying your golden years.